UCSB Gauchos vs. SMU Mustangs Men's Basketball Game Preview, by Gaucho Dan
Game Time: Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 8 pm (Central time)
Moody Coliseum, Dallas, TX
SMU has a 3-1 record, winning home games vs.
Gardner-Webb (72-44) and Eastern Michigan (91-64), and splitting two at
Madison Square Garden (defeating Pittsburgh 76-67 and losing to Michigan
(76-54). SMU is ranked 30th in the DCI , 66th in the DC2 and has an RPI of 52.
team is making 46% of its shots, including 37% from 3-point range (they
attempt 19 per game). They make 67% of their free throws, getting to
the line 20.5 times per game vs. allowing 18 FT's per contest.
Opponents are shooting 40% from the field and 31% from three-point range. The
Mustangs are dominating the boards, grabbing 14.5 more rebounds per game
than their opponents.
SMU is led by Head Coach Tim
Jankovich in the wake of another Larry Brown resignation. The Mustangs
were banned from the NCAA tournament last season, but are eligible this
season and figure to be in line for at least an at-large bid, considering
the American Athletic Conference coaches picked them to finish 3rd.
junior forward Semi Ojeleye is leading the Mustangs in scoring,
averaging 20.3 points per game and adding in 9 rebounds per game. Ojeleye can hit
the three-point shot (8-of-18) and gets to the free throw line and makes them
6'5" sophomore guard Shake Milton
was expected to be SMU's top returning player, and is contributing 12
points per game. He likes to take the three-point shot (5 attempts per game, but has
hit only 30% from downtown. He has an excellent 3.6-to-1
6'6" senior guard
Sterling Brown started the first three games and came off the bench for
32 minutes vs. Michigan. Brown had 8 assists in the season opener and
only 5 assists since, but he's averaging 10.5 points per game and has
hit 5-of-10 three-pointers.
Game 3, CSU-Bakersfield Roadrunners vs. UC-Santa Barbara
Saturday, November 19, 2016, 7 pm (Pacific time)
Men's Basketball game at IcardoCenter
It will be strength vs. strength in the first matchup ever
between the two schools. Bakersfield
returns last season's Second Team All-WAC senior guard Dedrick Basile and this
season's leading scorer in senior guard Jaylin Airington in their
backcourt. They will be matched up with Santa Barbara's strength in senior point
guard Eric Childress and junior shooting guard Gabe Vincent, both Honorable
Mention All-BWC selections last season. The team who wins this match up
could very well come away with a victory.
CSU-Bakersfield, the reigning Western Athletic Conference
champions, are a legitimate threat to repeat. Basile returns,
and will be looked upon to produce even more following the graduation of Aly
Ahmed and Kevin Mays, the team’s top two scorers and rebounders last
season. The 5'10" Basile sent the Roadrunners to the NCAA Tournament
with the game-winning bucket in the WAC tournament. He will be the focal
point of the offense this season, a year removed from averaging 12.0 points, 3.3
rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. The cabinet is far from bare for Rod
Barnes, the head coach of the Roadrunners. Jaylin Airington and Brett Wrapp are
two other starting returnees. Airington in particular has flourished
early this season, scoring a career-high 31 points in a 78-66 loss to
Damiyne Durham averaged 11.7 points per game off the bench last season, and
made 89 3-point shots. Matt Smith provides a presence on defense and on
The Gauchos will need to capitalize on their strength in the
interior on offense, with Jalen Canty and backup Ami Lakoju manning the center
spot. Alex Hart and the committee at the power forward position will have
to step up on converting on layups and cleaning the glass. Vincent and Childress
will need to knock down perimeter shots and create scoring opportunities for
teammates with dribble penetration. On defense, the 3-2 zone defense will
need to close out on perimeter shooters quicker, while minimizing Bakersfield's slashers
into the lane, where the defense can break down.
Game 2, University of San Francisco Dons vs. UCSB Gauchos
Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 7 pm (Pacific time)
Men's Basketball game at The Thunderdome
After years of turnover and turmoil under Rex Walters, USF tries
for a fresh start with former Columbia coach Kyle Smith. He inherits a
team whose cupboard is pretty bare after its two best returning players
-- Devin Watson and Uche Ofoegbu -- opted to transfer. The roster is
filled with ten freshmen and sophomores. Their ESPN Basketball Power Index (BPI) rating has the
program down in the 300 range, worse than any Big West school, and the Dons are
picked last in the West Coast Conference. They played four games on a 10-day European
summer tour which took the team to Germany, Belgium and France in early
August, and won all four games against various club teams. So they will
have had a bit more opportunity to meld as a team compared to UCSB.
their opener, the Dons defeated a University of Illinois-Chicago team 82-80 that
is coming off a 5-win season. The Dons led by as much as 17 but
let UIC come all the way back to tie it at 80-all, before finishing the Flames off
with a pair of free-throws freshman by Remu Raitanen. Senior guard Ronnie Boyce led the way with 28 points
and sophomore Chase Foster led with 11 rebounds.
is the team’s leading returning scorer (11.1 ppg) and it looks like he
might lead the team in that department this season. He made three 3-pointers in the game against UIC. Sophomore Nate Renfro, a
slight 6’7” wing, will also shoulder much of the scoring load and was
elected team captain. He had 12 points against UIC.
to Coach Smith, the team doesn’t have the size to match up with the big
dogs in conference but a look at their roster shows six players at 6’7” or
taller, so the size is there, but perhaps not the talent. According to
the Dons message board, these younger players have looked good in the
preseason: Guards Jordan Ratinho (who was recruited by
UCSB), Marquil Smith, and Charles Minland. They are especially high on forward Matt McCarthy. Reserve guard Mladen Djordjevic, hurt UCSB with
8 points off the bench in the Gauchos' game against the Dons last year. Junior
Chase Foster, who nabbed 11 boards against UIC, started 13 games last
season and averaged 4.4 points and 1.7 rebounds
UCSB has advantages throughout the lineup but especially in size in
the frontcourt. Jalen Canty should have plenty of opportunities against his
old neighbors by the Golden Gate. Ami Lakoju should also flourish in the paint. UCSB will need to do a
much better job than they did against Omaha on stopping guard penetration. They will need to keep Boyce at bay.
Omaha is not considered a great 3-point shooting team, but they hurt UCSB
from the perimeter in the season opener. The Gaucho zone defense needs to rotate
better to make sure Boyce and Renfro don’t have career games. Shutting down
Renfro on the wing will be a primary goal, and it will be interesting to
see JD Slajchert and Christian Terrell take on that task. On offense, Gabe Vincent will have to be more of a factor from the perimeter and driving the lanes. It is a major rebuilding
year for the Dons and UCSB has more pieces and continuity, which should
enable the Gauchos to emerge victorious, albeit in likely another ugly early season
Gauchos open their season with a return match against Nebraska Omaha
whom they defeated with an Eric Childress buzzer-beating layup in the season
opener in Nebraska last year. That season was the first year UNO was a
full-fledged D1 member eligible for all post-season tournaments and
they did very well as a first year program, finishing in third place in
the Summit League with an overall record of 18-14. They played in the
CBI, losing in the first round to Duquesne. The Summit was the 11th
ranked conference in RPI, just ahead of the Mountain West. For
reference, the Big West was 15th. For the 2016-17 season, the Mavericks
are picked to finish 4th in the Summit.
year’s team is headed by 12th year coach Darrin Hansen. UNO returns nine
letter winners from the 2015-16 squad so has experience but did
graduate their two top scorers. They are led by pre-season Summit First
Teamer Senior PG Tra Deon Hollins who boasted a stat line of 12.5 points per game,
4.8 rebounds per game, 6.1 assists per game and 4 steals per game. Yes, 4 steals per game, the
highest theft rate in 16 years according to his coach. He takes about
three 3-pointers a game but only makes 28.6 percent of them. He brings some
size to the point guard position standing 6’2”, 195 lb. At the other guard
position returns 5th-year senior, two-year starter, Marcus Tyus. Tyus
averaged 13 ppg as a junior before tearing his ACL late in
the season and missed all of last season while recovering from knee
surgery. UNO missed his touch from long range. While the 6-foot-1 guard
hit 44 % of his 3-point shots as a junior, the Mavs shot only 34 % from beyond the arc last season.
Mavericks return their leading rebounder, pre-season Summit
honorable-mention junior PF Tre Shawn Thurman who is also the team’s
leading returning scorer, averaging 13.9 ppg last year. Thurman is
efficient, shooting at a 53.6% clip last year. At 6’7”, 235lb, he’ll be a
much greater physical challenge for Jalen Canty and Ami Lakoju compared to what the
two faced from Fresno Pacific. At the other forward position is 6’8”,
210lb Sophomore Mitchel Hahn who transferred in from Holy Cross. Coach
Hansen is high on Hahn and expects significant contribution on the
offense from him.
The Mavs have terrific depth at
the guard and wing position. In addition to Hollins and Tyus, they
have a pair of 6’3” guards in JT Gibson, a freshman coming off a medical
redshirt year, and Daniel Norl from Eastern Kentucky. Two returnees,
guards Zach Jackson and Kyler Erickson both have some starting
Additional notes about the Mavericks:
UNO was 4th in the nation in both offense (ppg) and steals
10th for steals and 12th for turnovers forced
returns 45 percent of its offensive production from last season. The
returners are also credited for 51 percent (581) of last season’s 1,132
Matchups and Prediction It will
be strength-on-strength in the backcourt with UCSB’s two Honorable Mention All-Big West
players Childress and Gabe Vincent up against Hollins and Tyus. UNO does
have a significant advantage in terms of depth at the guard/wing positions
and we may see a lot of turnovers by the Gauchos when Childress is on
UCSB counters with much more size and depth in the frontcourt. If the Gauchos can get Thurman into foul
trouble the Mavericks won’t be able to answer the Gauchos down low.
It will most likely be
an ugly game as many first games are. It should be tightly contested initially, with UNO possibly getting a lead when Childress or Vincent takes a breather
early on. Gaucho depth in the front court should pay off, and they overcome a
deficit to pull off a 65-61 foul-plagued, turnover-filled affair.
UCSB vs. Fresno Pacific Game Preview, by GauchoFreg
ExhibitionGame, Sunday, November
6, 2016, 1 pm (Pacific time), The Thunderdome
Opponent: Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds (Division 2)
The UCSB men's basketball season kicks off tomorrow!
The Gauchos start things off with an exhibition against Fresno
Pacific of the Pacific West Conference.
The Sunbirds last season sported an overall record of 14-13 and a 9thplace finish in conference.
A longtime NAIA program, they moved to D2 in 2012. The Sunbirds will have a new coach and a
roster heavy with upperclassmen and transfers, returning just two of their
Their leading returner is
6’5” redshirt senior guard Spencer Krannitz.
Krannitz let the team in rebounding, steals and minutes played; was
second in scoring and three-pointers last season (a .410 clip) and third in
Point guard TJ Vinney started about
half the games last season, stands at just 5’9” and led the team in assists
while adding 6 points per game (ppg).
The other point guard, senior Suhail Mohammadi, also logged a lot of
minutes last season and will likely be on the court a fair bit.
At center, senior Oliver
Herting who averaged about 6 ppg and 3 rebounds per game in 12 minutes of play. At 6’7” and 235 pounds, he is the biggest player on
Like many D2 programs, Fresno Pacific is relies heavily on transfers.
For UCSB, a most interesting aspect will be how JD Slajchert and Christian Terrell
handle the toughest defensive assignment on Krannitz, although we may see Gabe Vincent
guard him as well.
The Sunbirds are
undersized, so Jalen Canty and the rest of UCSB's front court should have advantages down
It’s an exhibition so UCSB Head Coach Bob Williams will be experimenting with lineups, and the result and
margin are meaningless. UCSB’s starters should have clear advantages at four of the five positions.
Krannitz’s experience as a 5th year senior may give him an advantage
over the UCSB wings.
The Sunbirds will also play UCR, another Big West Conference rival.
According to GauchoDan, Fresno Pacific is picked to finish 11th in the Pacific West this season.
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